Is it just me or has the commitment of the younger firefighters these days just gone to pot? Now don't get me wrong there are some young guys and gals out there that still go get it but they are a shrinking breed. Out of 20+ applicants to take our last agility test only 5-6 passed the rest just quit because they were tired out. We have a working fire at my volley station and 1 cylinder of air and they are laid out in the yard wipped out and the house is still burning, and one last thing is this, it's all about "me" thing, only looking out for myself instead of whats best for the crew or the dept.
"I believe alot has to do with training and how well you stick to sog's or sop's.Train them well and hold them to high standards and they will become great fire fighters.You must treat them with respect and earn their respect as superiers."
This is a great point, and one I have made elsewhere. See my blog for more on this.
Back in the day, it was often the case that the best place to learn the job was at the station, working with the old timers. This created a culture of "probie abuse" that persists today. Today's fresh fish are different, though, and expect to be accorded at least a modicum of respect. This is for a number of reasons, but they aren't likely to graduate from academy, receive their station assignments and joyfully go into maid mode, cleaning every quare inch of the station for the old timers who are just passing along the tradition they were brought into.
They aren't lazy, but they didn't spend 16-18 weeks at their academy to become maids. Granted, the S**T jobs still need to be done, but how much do we make our new people feel like a valuable part of the team when they spend their time scrubbing toilets for the senior staff?
Old timers, don't sit around and watch your probies clean, either clean with them or have someone who doesn't need the training do the cleaning. Isn't it better for everyone to have a well trained probie who is enthusiastic and ready to do the job rather than a cleaning lady?
I have looked at this and what I believe exists is this:
As soon as a new firefighter steps into the fire station, is issued their gear and grabs the hose for the first time, they are given the benefit of the doubt.
Because respect is earned and not given, just grabbing the hose isn't good enough to earn respect. Once proficiency is mastered on the hose, respect starts and grows as the firefighter grows.
I agree that abuse of newbies should not be tolerated, but I also believe as strongly that respect is not automatic.
Reply by FETC 10 hours ago
I have read a few of the responses, from both older and younger firefighters and feel compelled to say many have missed the point.
I am glad to hear that some younger kids are more trained than many in their department. Great kid, but some of you can't run a mile without stopping for a break either.
The new era of unfit firefighters are caused by the culture of today's society. Kids do very little physically these days. Technology has driven our children to be unhealthy children. They play video games instead of spending the entire day outside doing someting physical. The word, hard work for a dollar is non-existant today. Nobody can find kids to do physical labor, like bailing hay, digging a hole, or cutting trees, etc. Many work at McDonalds or Circuit City in the air conditioning. Then they eat junk food and what does that produce? Unfit society! Not just firefighters either. 1 million people died last year from cardiac arrest. The food itself is another problem. It's not as healthy as food from my parents/grand parents era. Less nutrients due to lack of fertile land, toxins, air pollution. Why eat an apple when you can eat apple flavored fruit snack, which has no real apples in it. You could eat almost a whole baske t of apples to match the caloric intake or some of the "junk food". I call it "Overfed and Under-nourished". Now add in that almost everyone in the world is walking around dehydrated, due to overuse of coffee, soda and caffeinated products instead of drinking water like our parents or grandparents did and that is the straw that broke the camels back...
How can anyone expect an un-physically fit, overweight, and dehydrated firefighter, go from an air conditioned office job, who drank ONLY 6 sodas today and respond to a working fire in 80-90 degree heat with a thermal insult of a modern day fire and expect more than one bottle and "whipped"
What you should be planning on is a LODD funeral unless your department, gets on the ball and does some realistic training on health, wellness and personal safety.
fetc, I couldn't agree more. That was soo well put, that I had to simply re-post it. Thank You.
Too much TV Not enough work ethic
I said it before kids are a different breed and they don't get it...
I don't get it.
I myself wanted to be good at everything I did. half ass was not good enough
Now days kids don't care.. Lazy and loving it.
I think that age, nor gender, nor ethnicity determines a person. To me this is all a bunch of stereotypical nonsense. People in general these days are more lazy. I see/hear it all across the board. There are still plenty of willing and capable people(OF ALL AGES) who will step up. I agree it is sad to see the decline in work ethic or even in the desire to be better and do better. Motivation is quickly overcome by several less strenuous options. I think the standards should be raised..whether it is a paid department or volunteer. The standards that are now "Guides" should be enforced through random assessment and inspections. All stations should be held accountable for their performance. Until then..do the best you can..lead by example and always encourage others to do the same..cheers
hey i have been a volley for 15 years, and some of the guys who came before me who think they are the real firefighters, haven't been to our training academy or done continuing classes for updated techniques. Some of these guys will tell you they are the sh#t,and freelance, and not take orders from the newer officers(guys like me who still care). As far as new young probies, some of them are just downright soft, some don't get the whole brotherhood thing.They don't realize that we aren't making them do the things that the men who came before us made us do(packing hose, changing cylinders,etc)to build confidence in them to do a job we know is hard!!!
i think that is true to some extent but i feel there are a few of us young bloods that know what it is to work hard and where one of us goes we all go i am a 21 YEAR OLD FEMALE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER and EMT also have 3 friends around the same age that have been on are department the same amount of time i have if not more we may not be the best but we do our part i will work my ass off on any call because that is what i am supose to do. we learn from our examples which are the older members of our fire departement and i think that it also sometime the ones that have the will and the heart for the job i feel that its not just a job but a way of life i get excited when my pager goes off and i love going on calls i get to always learn something and show that i can do this job i do understand where your comeing from but dont link all of the young firefighter together because someof us do understand this job and life.
Do people even read the authors original post? How do we get from his question to newer firefighters expecting more respect and are not maids??? The subject was why do today's firefighter seem to be less productive then years past...
The new era of unfit firefighters (whether they are young or old) is caused by the culture of today's society. Way back when kids are kids, 10-16, they do very little physical activity these days. Technology has driven our children to be unhealthy children. They play video games instead of spending the entire day outside doing something physical. The word, hard work for a dollar is non-existant around here. It is hard to find kids to do physical labor, like bailing hay, digging a hole, or cutting trees, etc. Many work at McDonald's or Circuit City in the Air Conditioning. Then today's society eats junk food and what does that produce? Unfit society! Not just firefighters either. 1 million people died last year from cardiac arrest. The food itself is another problem. It's not as healthy as food from our parents/grand parents era. Less nutrients due to lack of fertile land, toxins,and air pollution. Why eat a healthy apple for a snack when you can eat "apple flavored" fruit snacks, which have no real apples in it. You could eat almost a whole bushel of apples to match the caloric intake of some "junk food". I call it "Overfed and Under-nourished today". Now add in that almost everyone in the world is walking around dehydrated, due to the abuse of coffee, soda and caffeinated products instead of drinking water like our parents or grandparents did... and that is the straw that broke the camel's back...
How can anyone expect an un-physically fit firefighter (regardless of age), who is also overweight and dehydrated firefighter, go from an air conditioned office job, who drank ONLY 6 sodas today and respond to a working fire in 80-90 degree heat with a thermal insult of a modern day fire and expect more than one bottle before he or she is "whipped"
We all need to be healthier, happier, and thus it will make us safer on the fireground. Otherwise, the latter will cause our brother and sisters to risk their lives to rescue one of our own...